The Eternal Teenager

Speckled Wood Butterfly
Speckled Wood Butterfly

The world is a strange and intriguing place, is it not? Today we have a Speckled Wood butterfly. It is speckled, as you can see, and it flies around the fringes of woods. Or, as in this case, when the year grows older and the population of aphids in the tree tops declines, it is forced to scrabble around amongst the hedgerows. As a caterpillar, it liked nothing better than a patch of damp grass – Cocksfoot will do but Couch Grass is preferred. This enthusiasm wears off as soon as it emerges from its chrysalis and it flutters away to the trees, convinced that it is bound for greater things.

The male adopts one of two courting procedures. Early in the year he is most likely to find a nice warm sunny spot on the woodland floor and just hang out – do dumb stuff, and wolf whistle at every passing female. His other option is to get a smooth motor, then cruise up and down the edge of the wood and see what he can pull.

The females are well aware of this of course, and either make straight for the guy in the nearest sunny spot – or hang around on street corners to see what turns up.

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